Samoyed Grooming

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There is nothing more beautiful than a well-groomed Samoyed. If you walk your pup down the street, be prepared to spend lots of time being stopped by strangers. A clean and brushed Samoyed is a sight to behold, and most people have never had the pleasure of meeting one before.

But keeping a Samoyed well-groomed is about more than just looks. It’s an essential part of your dog’s health. It keeps mats at bay, and helps you check your dog’s skin for rashes, irritation, bugs, hotspots or lumps.

How often do Samoyeds need to be groomed?

Samoyeds are a high-maintenance breed. While their coats do resist dirt and they have no odor, they still need regular grooming.

Ideally, your dog should be brushed daily. If you make it part of your everyday routine, you can spend just 15 or 20 minutes each day. If you skip days or only do it once a week, you will need to spend an hour or more. If you wait too long between grooming sessions, you will be faced with mats and other issues, which can be very painful for your pet.

Necessary tools for Samoyed grooming

For your dog’s routine care, you will need a few tools:

  • Undercoat rake: For Samoyed grooming, an undercoat rake is essential. Good ones will gently remove the loose undercoat, without cutting the guard hairs. This one from Oster isn’t cheap, but it’s incredibly effective and holds up to years of use.
  • Greyhound comb: A greyhound comb or shedding comb can help gently detangle the coat.
  • Slicker brush: The dense bristles on a slicker brush help remove loose hair and dirt from the coat.
  • Nail clippers: Make sure you cut your dog’s nails regularly. Nail clippers with guards can help you do so safely.
  • Shampoo: Chris Christensen’s White on White is a great shampoo for Samoyeds. It gets the coat bright white, without drying out their skin.
  • Conditioner: I use Isle of Dogs’ Silky Oatmeal conditioner. It’s very gentle on the skin, and leaves the coat soft and tangle-free.

Other grooming tools that are helpful, but not essential

  • Forced air dryer: A high-velocity dryer, also known as a forced air dryer, is what professional groomers use to dry dogs. Not only will it dry your Samoyed quickly after a bath, but it will also help remove the loose undercoat and dirt. During coat blow season, it’s invaluable. They can be expensive, but good high-velocity dryers last for years and are an excellent investment for Samoyed owners.
  • Grooming table: A grooming table can help you keep your dog still for brushing, and ensures you can easily reach everywhere on your dog.
  • Nail grinder: A nice alternative to nail clippers, a nail grinder will file down the nails. Using a nail grinder instead of nail clippers can help you avoid clipping the nail to the quick.

The grooming process

To groom your Samoyed, follow a process known as line-combing. It is a way to gently untangle the coat and brush out the loose undercoat, leaving your dog looking full and fluffy.

If you have a grooming table, that’s great, but it also can be done with the dog lying down.

  1. Start with the area where the hair is shortest, usually right above the dog’s feet.
  2. Mist the area with water or a spray conditioner
  3. Using your comb or pinbrush, part the hair horizontally, separating about a two-inch wide section. Brush that section with the comb or undercoat rake to remove tangles and loose coat
  4. Once you are no longer removing any hair, part another section two inches above where you brushed, and repeat the process
  5. Continue doing this all over the dog’s body
  6. Once finished, use the soft pin brush to brush the short hair on the dog’s face, ears and legs

Below is  a video demonstrating the process:

How to get your Samoyed used to grooming

Whether you have a new puppy or an older dog who isn’t used to being groomed, grooming all at once can be overwhelming. It’s important to make it a pleasant experience, so when starting out, keep sessions very short, just 5 minutes or so.

Use a high-value treat, like a peanut butter Kong or doggie ice cream, to tempt your dog into lying down and relaxing while you brush. Even many frightened dogs will deal with being brushed if they get to eat at the same time.

As your dog gets used to it, you can extend grooming sessions.

A word on grooming no-nos: The Furminator and shaving

Samoyeds should never be shaved. You will be advised by well-meaning people, including groomers, to shave your dog’s coat in the summer, but it can be extremely harmful.

Samoyeds have delicate, pale skin. It is easily irritated and sunburned. Their coats provide essential protection against the sun’s rays and other irritants.

Further, their hair also keeps them safe from heat. While the coat keeps them warm, the thick double-coat also insulates them from the sun. Shaving them removes that protection, increasing the risk that your dog will overheat.

Other people swear by the Furminator, but it also should be avoided. It actually cuts the outer guard hairs, giving the coat a rough appearance and removing some of their natural protection. Instead, use a good undercoat rake, which only removes the loose undercoat without damaging the guard hairs.